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Finding the right physiotherapist for you

Physiotherapists see a wide range of clients who come to them seeking treatment for a number of conditions, from muscular injuries right through to asthma and rehabilitation after an accident. If you’ve never had physiotherapy before, it can be a bit confusing to know where to start when it comes to choosing a physiotherapist that’s right for you. 

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It can be made easier if you have been referred to a physiotherapist by your doctor or healthcare professional, but here’s some tips to make things a bit easier if you’re finding a physiotherapist from scratch.

Check their registration
All physiotherapists working in New Zealand must be registered and hold a current Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand. If in doubt, you can check if your physiotherapist is registered by searching the Physiotherapy Boards register online here. The Board makes sure that all practicing physiotherapists are qualified, competent and that their skills are updated frequently.

Method of treatment and area of specialisation
Physiotherapists in New Zealand use a wide range of treatments including:

    • Exercise programmes
    • Manipulation and mobilisation
    • Lifestyle advice
    • Education to prevent future injury
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage
    • Hydrotherapy

Physiotherapy works with a wide range of health problems and physios often choose to concentrate their expertise on a particular area. Areas of practice can include;

    • Cardiothoracic conditions (asthma, sleep apnea and other breathing disorders)
    • Continence and women's health issues
    • Hand therapy
    • Manual therapy
    • Neurology (stroke rehabilitation)
    • Occupational health
    • Treating older adults
    • Treating children
    • Sports injuries

Credentials: what to look for
All physiotherapists are health professionals required to have a university degree (often from Auckland University of Technology or Otago University) at a minimum. Many New Zealand physiotherapists go on to further levels of study and areas of specialization.

Finally – and some would say most importantly – it’s worth finding a physiotherapist you gel with and feel comfortable around. This can be done by getting word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends. Some people also place high importance on finding a physiotherapist that is in their area, therefore making appointments more convenient to their proximity and schedules.

One of the easiest ways to search for a physiotherapist by location or area of practice is by popping along to our Find a Physio page.


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